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Lia Purpura to Give Talk on Collection at Enoch Pratt Library

Enoch Pratt Library

400 Cathedral St.

Baltimore, MD 21201

About the Event: Come out to the Enoch Pratt Library to see Lia Purpura speak on All the Fierce Tethers in the library’s Writers LIVE series. Free and open to the public.

About the Author: Lia Purpura is the author of eight collections of essays, poems, and translations. On Looking (essays, Sarabande Books) was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her awards include Guggenheim, NEA, and Fulbright Fellowships, as well as four Pushcart Prizes, the Associated Writing Programs Award in Creative Nonfiction, and others. Her work appears in The New YorkerThe New Republic, OrionThe Paris ReviewThe Georgia ReviewAgni, and elsewhere. She lives in Baltimore, MD. 


"[Lia Purpura] evinces great skill as a prose writer in this volume of meditations on nature and society. . . . Amid the numerous essay collections driven by concern over climate change, Purpura’s stands out for its passionate intensity."

Publishers Weekly

"'Metaphors get compromised. Get eroded and need updating. Rerouting. Reconstituting,' writes Lia Purpura. This is just one of the luminous themes mined in her glittering new essay collection All the Fierce Tethers. In prose that is inventive, with ideas that contract and dilate with fluidity, Purpura considers the mundane and crafts powerful essays that traverse the landscapes that surround us."

Foreword Reviews, starred review

“Reading this collection of essays is like taking a walk through your neighborhood with a wizard or a medieval saint: Lia Purpura can conjure visions from seed pods, a plastic bag, a city sidewalk, transforming what is right in front of you into what is really there, uncommon, untamed.  Under her gaze, the most ordinary things become not just extraordinary, but almost frighteningly radiant.  To watch her free, say, a flowering crape myrtle from ‘tree’ and let it burst into experience is to behold reverence at its most ferocious, precise and delicate.”

—Suzanne Berne, author of The Dogs of Littlefield

“In Lia Purpura’s work, language is a renewable resource that keeps on giving, restoring wonder to a world of wounds. She is a meditative writer and in her, the life of the mind and senses abide in conjugal bliss. What holds us to this troubled life? A beautiful, associative mind attentive to small gestures, wending its way through our age of contradiction, finding solace and reckoning in language. That’s what.” 

—Alison Hawthorne Deming, author of Zoologies: On Animals and the Human Spirit